Not a question of how to use it, but what to do with it with characters.
I will also update the Thread with results and images of those results.
Forums tip, dont use spoiler tag until AFTER you have added images and texts.
I am personally confident that I will make the right decisions despite this thread, although I want people throwing ideas anyway. Also, I am simply opening up a discussion on how one should use it, where it would look the best and renovate where fluff failed on relevant characters. And then allow this thread be a place where you can steal ideas.
I firstly will start with the more generic looking characters, that way, I get practice up until my beloved and wild alien characters.
Alright, lets start with what I think will be simple
So Gwen is a fairly simple character, one of my best in my opinion. Due to the simplicity, I in my thoughts, feel like I would only need subtle fur authoring. Just to give a soft feel. In turn I may remove some of the fluff on her hips. This is to show that just maybe, simple characters do not need extravagant fur authoring. Many of my characters will follow this example.
And a bloomy Athena for good Measure
I think I did
a good enough job on the fur. It was a bit awkward at first, figuring
out a proper way to keep a consistent fur and slightly editing it later
was a bit worrying but that is the learning process.
GWEN's TAIL CANNOT SUPPORT FUR
TIP: I figured out that, it is better to Tilt the fur than to resize it. Make sure you have a good brush preset for length and Tilting
TIP: Use the Comb and make the fur look more natural. There are specific areas that are required to be combed to look more natural. The butt tends to circulate the fur, comb that away. Use the comb to make wavy lines as well, cool stuff.
Some More Results with Sienna who has really good fur authoring:
So! What I did with Sienna is Decide her overall fur before hand.
Using the Body (and etc) Tiling for Fur, you can get phatter and more wool esque fur, or opposite, something thin and numerous. I also noticed that belly fur tends to hold a lot of fur, so I combed them apart a bit. And I cannot stress enough how important TILT can be. Tilting the belly area inward and then gradually going out where the hips have a pretty tilted fur really makes for a dynamic looking fur.
Also, in general, I combed most of the fur to be pointing Downwards, as that was the general aesthetic I wanted for her, except for on arms. Remembering some of the Fluff details that I removed, Ive extenuated the Fur in those areas the same way. You can see it on the Legs and Hips. I also used some CURVE inwards on a lot of the outward-tilted fur.
TIP: When deciding the Overall fur, refer to the Tiling of the fur. But also try to keep head and limb fur on check. Set a clipping border (B) their Right limb, Gradient fill (G) the length of the fur, then mirror it (SPACE). When you have the overall beginning portion of your work on the characters fur, making them a lot more palatable will make it easier on you on what to do next.
Characters with assumed thin layers of fur/hair
I will experiment with the looks, but we generally may not have a desire for fur authoring on characters with slick fur and hides. Instead, simple fur texture that gives off the illusion of that kind of hide should do the trick. This is a character I would say the Fur Authoring may be a trap. But perhaps there still could be place for it in specific and small quantities.
Pretty good, mostly subtle enough.
TIP: A good way to add fur is in reverse. After adding fur, use Gradient Fill (Length) and practically remove all fur from the character. Then use Sculpt (Length) to add fur. This is a lengthier process and prone to inconsistent fur, but is good if you need specific and small amounts of fur.
TIP: If you are unsure where you have missed some spots of fur, try exaggerating the shading. Fur shadows will pretty much highlight areas that you have missed. Scan the character with your eyeballs for those spots, fill em and tune back the shading.
Difficult Problem Characters
These characters have fluff that shape their bodies here and there, but also have lots of fluff in general. Due to this, I am very conflicted about the Fur Authoring tool and how to update them. I am going to have to make a careful mix that satisfies the fur essence. I am thinking of deleting a lot of the general fluff, and some big body fluffs. Specifically, Haffr's Hips and general fur as well as tummy fur. Craket's General fur and hip fur and leg fur, might even do the Neck fur. Torr's Shoulder fur and general fur and reduce the tummy+chest fur. All of that to make way for fur authoring. I usually back up these characters when making grand changes. Lots of work for potential failure.
And I was right! Although it comes with a surprise. (Click the images for a bigger view)
So, Mjum (Green) I eliminated a lot of fluff to make room for Fur, I firstly just unmirrored the fluff and tried to replicate the fur to look similar to the fluff. It was not a success as the fluff extended beyond the appropriate fur length. I tried my best to then also remove some fluff and keep at it with Fur. In my opinion, I feel as if I failed to make Mjum look good, or better than her previous self. The fur looks good, but overall she looks lesser than her former self.
Haffr (Brown) on the other hand, I let the fluff stay, and just make the fur compliment the fluff. And imo it worked wonders! She has not lost any of her shapes from the fluff, while still having fur! To me, this makes Haffr preserved and better than her former self. Although, She could have had with certain single fluffs taken away due to the fur but I think leaving the fluff work be as much as possible is generally the better idea. If you did good fluff work, leave it and have fur compliment it.
Ive done similar to Torr
Yet to do it on Craket, she will be my last updated character.
BIG TIP: Furring up the Male Part
A thing I want to mention here is how I furred up the male balls. I create a set clipping border (B) that collects the entire male part from the front. The male part extends into him as well. Then I use Gradient fill (G) and remove all the fluff with Length. Then, I add fur on the parts that I removed fur. Do not forget the Ass, you effectively removed some fur from the ass so add that back in. When furring the balls and the back portion of the shaft, be careful. The balls and legs may overlap. If that is the case, go inside the leg and fur the rest of the balls, and vice versa.
Fluffs that shapes the character, where fur Authoring may do little.
Characters with specific fluff placed on them have a very nice aesthetic already, putting fur authoring on them may ruin it slightly. It depends on how the fluff is placed of course, but sometimes the look is already satisfying in a cartoony way. Not too worried about botching anything up here, although if fur is set in one place, other places are expected to follow along.
I was wrong about being worried ruining the shape that the fluff makes. Instead, it complements the character. Ive only done Jill as of writting this, but it goes to show that the Fur Authoring itself does not need to be amazing, but rather satisfy a texture that helps the character stand out. For Jill, shes a bear, the fur made her fluffier, without being too fancy with the fur, it turned out great! The SHADING options was the most important here, the depth of the fur gives the deep fur aesthetic even if its generally short.
TIP: Toy around with the Shading features on Fur Authoring, but try to realize how much is needed. Sometimes you dont need shading at all, other times it does make for a better look. On furred characters like a BEAR, shades may be favourable.
As of right now, this is mostly a document and speculation before getting my hands on fur Authoring. When I do, I will update this thread with results and some tips and tricks.